Dennis Rogers

(Frank) Aahh, the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe, Atchison a great town. (Deb) It’s a wonderful town and another great river walk. They’ve got that beautiful area there next to the river; that’s a great place. They’ve got picnic tables, so you can go have a picnic there. And November, December, shoot, you know nice day in the middle of the winter, you’ve got the sun, it’s still really… (Frank) And the Amelia Earhart home, which sits looking out over the river, and there’s kind of a nice little park there as well. (Deb) You know, when you’re standing there at her house, and you look out, you’re up there on that bluff, you just let go and think you could fly. (Frank) Yea. It’s pretty nice. (Deb) Now, our next story about Dennis Rogers, who is a member of the Navajo tribe, even though he grew up here. Which reminds us, I had a viewer that wrote to me the other day and said, “Would you please do a segment on Don Coldsmith?” So, I promise you we will get to Don Coldsmith. (Frank) But now, let’s talk about a dancer. (Deb) Dennis Rogers. That’s right. You’re gonna love this. He is called Spirit Dancer. He teaches, entertains, encourages, enlightens. Audiences have been amazed by his agility and creativity during the hoop dances and mesmerized by the sound of his flute. On many occasions, his dance has accompanied the song, “Seminole Wind,” with John Anderson in concert. He has performed at Farm Aid concerts with Willie Nelson and Neil Young. He tours with Blackhawk, the multi-platinum album selling country band. Dennis Rogers is likely one of the busiest entertainers on the Great Plains. When he was a student at Haskell Indian Nations University, Dennis was a member of the Haskell Singers and Dancers, students representing tribes from one end of the country to the other. After Haskell, Dennis transferred to Washburn University where he studied education. Throughout his career, he has combined educating and performing. For a time, he lived and performed in Phoenix, entertaining tourists at Rawhide, a popular destination. It was there he learned the hoop dance, using hoops to create the illusion of animals and dancing through them, around them, with them. As Dennis performs, either dancing or playing the flute, he shares stories from his Navajo culture. The traditions and values of his tribe and those of other American Indians is almost a subliminal message as he interprets old ways into new songs and dances. He also practices the art of sand painting. At the September powwow, Dennis was named the Honored Native American Educator by the Shawnee County Allied Tribes. When his schedule permits, he works as a substitute schoolteacher and is a favorite with students of all ages